Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance
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Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance

Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar

Democratic innovations are proliferating in politics, governance, policy, and public administration. These new processes of public participation are reimagining the relationship between citizens and institutions. This Handbook advances understanding of democratic innovations, in theory and practice, by critically reviewing their importance throughout the world. The overarching themes are a focus on citizens and their relationship to these innovations, and the resulting effects on political equality. The Handbook therefore offers a definitive overview of existing research on democratic innovations, while also setting the agenda for future research and practice.
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Chapter 18: Journalists: the role of the media in democratic innovation

Gianfranco Pomatto


This chapter focuses on the relationship between media and democratic innovation. The few existing empirical investigations of this topic suggest that the level of attention of the media towards democratic innovations cannot be taken for granted, and that the quality of coverage is highly variable. This can be explained in light of the several structural factors that influence the mainstream media: media logic, concentrated ownership and commercialisation, some characteristics of the political system and the journalistic culture. Alternative journalistic movements, inspired by deliberative and participatory perspectives, appear to be promising for democratic innovation; however, they are minoritarian movements, and their impact on the media system is currently limited. Four complementary strategies are presented in the conclusion that could be pursued by policy makers, journalists and actors in the field of democratic innovation to enhance the level of attention of the media and the quality coverage of democratic innovation processes.

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